Japan‘s infrastructure ministry announced Tuesday that the country’s elevators may soon have a surprising new feature, the Kyodo news agency reports: Toilets.
Yes, it sounds odd, but while the idea of a fully plumbed potty zooming up and down the sides of a Tokyo skyscraper may seem like Japanese technical ingenuity taken a step too far, in reality this idea is born of reasonable and sensible practical concerns.
According to Kyodo, the Japanese government called meetings with the country’s elevator industry to discuss the idea after a magnitude-8.1 earthquake struck south of Tokyo on Saturday evening, causing about 19,000 elevators in the city and nearby to stop working.
People were trapped in 14 elevators and it took 70 minutes to rescue some of them, officials told Kyodo. If a larger earthquake strikes, the problem could be far, far worse. In light of the practical problems caused by being stuck in an elevator for so long, the Japanese government began looking into installing water and toilet facilities in all elevators. […]